An inferiority complex is a set of negative feelings, manifested in the form of anxiety, inferiority and shame, which are based on the perception of one’s shortcomings in an unfavorable light as a result of comparing oneself with other people.
In most cases, the inferiority complex is associated with physical disabilities, i.e. negative attitude to one’s own appearance, but its sources may also have social status, intelligence, personal qualities and character traits.
Some people have been struggling with a sense of inferiority for many years, others have been suffering from it all their lives. And, of course, suffering, a person considers himself unhappy.
As a result, the problem under consideration can lead to the destruction of relationships, improper lifestyle or depression.
The presence of an inferiority complex means that you focus on your shortcomings and constantly compare yourself with other people.
And although everyone has flaws, in the presence of an inferiority complex, your obsessive flaw is the only thing you constantly notice in yourself.
The causes of the inferiority complex are diverse, but many of them are most common at an early age.
For example, it is quite possible that your parents drove into your head as a child that you were not good enough in something, or that the event associated with harsh criticism at school left a deep imprint on your mind.
The opposite of the inferiority complex is the superiority complex, which is due to your belief that you are the best. Often the superiority complex is a veiled inferiority complex.
The intermediate position in life between the two above-mentioned complexes is the natural middle ground when you are not worried about your shortcomings and are not trying to prove anything to anyone.
The inferiority complex resembles the musical melody that was put on “Repeat”, as a result of which this annoying composition does not stop playing in your head, repeating again and again “It is so beautiful. She will never meet with people like me. ”,“ I am fat. ”,“ I am low. ”,“ I am unsure of myself. ”,“ I will never get this job. ”,“ I am not smart enough. ”… blah blah blah.
However, if you do not have the talent, qualities, skills, aspiration or insolence necessary to achieve the desired result, then you will only continue to throw fuel into the fire of your complex, whether you like it or not.
And how long will you continue to torment yourself? Maybe it’s time for a change?
Reasons for the inferiority complex
- Comparing yourself to others:
– Physical defects – disproportionate facial features or body, height, weight, physical strength, dexterity, slowness, vision, etc.
– Social factors – race, culture, religion, economic status, social adaptation, etc.
- Lack of personal opinion and low self-esteem:
– Parental upbringing – disapproving of the character of education, negative comments, accusations of child problems, etc.
– Environment – lack of understanding of who you are and where you are going, the result is imposed by someone else’s opinion and following someone else’s goals.
- High standards and expectations:
– The problem with perfectionism.
People around you have limited knowledge and capabilities. Therefore, they tell you exactly what they know or understand.
If you take on faith the opinion of only a small handful of people, you are thereby limiting your own horizon of opportunities and development prospects with your own hands.
An inferiority complex trail can stretch from childhood when you listened and took into account the advice, knowledge and beliefs of people who, by good intentions, have made you an unhappy person.
These people told you, “You are not good enough,” and you believed them. They said, “You are a wimp,” and you think that is so. They shouted: “You won’t succeed,” and you agreed with them. They recommended “You must be like Petya,” and you did not contradict them. They said: “Sasha is better than you,” and Sasha became for you a reason for feeling your own inferiority.
But the reality is
- What people tell you and think about you is just a subjective opinion, limited by their knowledge, experience and level of intelligence.
- Ten people have ten different opinions about your personality, none of which are true.
- Some people see in you only what is convenient for them to see.
- A sense of inferiority is part of your subjective self-image, but it is not objective and real you.
- No matter what you believe in, you can change your beliefs.
- You are much better and much more capable than you think.
Signs of an inferiority complex
1. The sense of worthlessness
Instead of treating the erroneous opinion of those around you accordingly, instead of adequately assessing your best qualities, on the contrary, you begin to follow the evaluative judgments of others, belittling your dignity and being confident that you are worse than others.
2. Increased sensitivity to criticism
Are you very sensitive to what others think and say about you? Do you immediately feel hurt and unsure when a critical comment arises in which you are the main character? And even constructive criticism makes you feel like a mixture of aggression with a sense of shame?
Bad sign. Surely, a psychological attitude has arisen inside you that periodically whispers to you, “You are not good enough.”
3. Submission of negative judgment about oneself in society
You are convinced that other people, by default, do not like you or believe that you are flawed, regardless of what they tell you completely different.
You hate any form of comparison that may be inevitable if you belong to a social group. As a result, you do not like to be in society because you can’t get rid of a secret suspicion that you are worse than the rest.
In addition to everything, you don’t want others to know the truth, how embarrassing and lousy you are, so you prefer to be alone.
4. Envy and finding faults in others
You will experience a feeling of jealousy, envy and melancholy when you observe the happy experiences of those around you.
In addition, you have a trained eye to identify the flaws of others. Your principle is eye for eye: since it is bad for you, the rest should be bad.
Nobody should be better than you, so you need nosebleed to make others feel worthless in order to exalt themselves beloved.
5. Thirst for flattery
Compliments of all make you shine with joy, but in the presence of an inferiority complex, you are addicted to flattery.
You constantly try to be good for everyone to get approval. Your ego is heavily influenced by other people’s opinions.
6. Perfectionism and anxiety
You hate competition and are afraid to lose because losing makes you feel like a failure.
Each time you have to participate in competitions, perform publicly, etc., you begin to be covered plentifully later.
You can be called a perfectionist, so if something went wrong, you perceive it as a failure.
You don’t seem motivated because you are convinced that no matter how hard you are doing, you will never be good enough. As a result, you are not doing anything to make a difference.
You rarely defend your interests or your opinion, and easily cease to consider your own needs important. This behavior, which lasts for a long time, leads to the accumulation of anger.
Symptoms of the inferiority complex
Only when you realize that you are under the influence of the inferiority complex can you find ways to change your thinking and overcome the complex.
Therefore, one of the most important stages of getting rid of an inferiority complex is the identification of its symptoms.
Perhaps you have all of the following symptoms equally, or you should talk about the presence of only some of them. In this case, the level of their manifestation may also vary.
However, it is unlikely that you do not have any of them, because from time to time we all touch the feeling of inferiority.
1. Inferiority complex and personality
The inferiority complex has a direct impact on the person’s self-image, which is adjusted under the influence of other people’s value judgments.
And such a distorted vision of oneself becomes a part of the personality, even when a person is alone with himself, distancing himself from society.
The favorite object of the impact of the inferiority complex is the human appearance. And even those who are perceived by the absolute majority as outwardly attractive are often exposed to the inferiority complex based on the fear of losing their value in the eyes of society.
Often, complexes become the impetus for choosing one of two options for the development of human life, and only the person himself determines the direction of movement for himself.
Some people conclude that they deserve the fate of a flawed or a failure because such a position reflects their inner sense of self. This approach can lead to negative thinking, unhealthy eating habits, and become a factor in various kinds of addictions.
In another case, people have the effect of overcompensation, as a result of which they begin to work hard to achieve physical perfection. Indeed, they gain confidence in their appearance, but sometimes too active movement towards the goal can lead to strain, exhaustion, dependence on fancy diets, etc.
When it comes to intellectual abilities, similar rules apply.
An inferiority complex can lead to an inadequate assessment of praise. When a person receives a sincere compliment, instead of generating pleasant emotions, he may feel wariness and see an attempt at ridicule.
Equally, a complex often forces you to go into an aggression mode if someone speaks negatively of you. An overestimated sensitivity to criticism is a vivid manifestation of a sense of inferiority.
2. Inferiority complex and relationships
The inferiority complex can make you look at your romantic relationship in a distorted way.
If you are single, you can believe in your failure to maintain a relationship. If you are connected by a love bond with your other half, your attitude towards it may be distorted by a personal subjective look that is far from reality.
You can overestimate the importance of your partner in your life, which is quite capable of causing a distance between you.
On the other hand, if you mentally endow your partner with unrealistic qualities, he will inevitably disappoint you at the moment when you realize that he does not meet these unreasonable standards.
Lonely people with an inferiority complex tend to have a distorted vision of potential lovers. When they notice attractive people, they begin to compare themselves with them, stating their inferiority and inability to make them part of their lives.
The inferiority complex affects not only romantic relationships but also your relationships with your parents.
You may feel excessive pressure and high expectations from your parents. And if you can’t meet your expectations, you, unfortunately, will feel unworthy of your loved ones, even if they are mistaken in their own life position.
In addition, an inferiority complex may arise as a result of a rivalry between brothers and sisters.
Unfortunately, the consequences of the events of our childhood can haunt us throughout the rest of our lives.
That is why the attempt to overcome the inferiority complex consists not only in getting rid of harmful thoughts but in mastering control over them.
3. Inferiority complex and success
People with an inferiority complex often dream of success. They may have an unrealistic idea, which entails success, thereby overstating their expectations.
Observing other people, they celebrate their achievements, comparing them with their career and social relationships. Identified inconsistencies in various areas of life can make them feel flawed.
In addition, a sense of inferiority can affect your career growth. Most likely, you are able to succeed in many areas of activity, but the present inferiority complex will easily convince you of the opposite.
As a result, you can continue to vegetate in the same position, feeling limited and disappointed.
Not having the confidence to move forward, and without making the necessary life adjustments, you continue to sink in a circle of disappointment, from which, it seems to you, it is impossible to get out.
On the other hand, the inferiority complex sometimes manifests itself in the form of overcompensation. You can push yourself to achieve something unbelievably large-scale, which, of course, will endow you with some attributes of success, but will not save you from the complex.
If you constantly feel your inferiority, then it does not matter how successful you are in other areas. In the end, you can even perceive the positive aspects of your life in a negative way.
Excessive feelings of inferiority can make you feel disappointed, regardless of the level of success you achieve. You can be sure that you are always just a little because you are not good enough.
4. Inferiority complex and society
A common feature that is characteristic of the owners of the inferiority complex is a sense of anxiety, which can lead to a false sense of excessive requirements in any area of life and the need to comply with these requirements.
If you feel the need to be in the spotlight all the time, this can be a manifestation of complexes.
Self-confident people do not feel like attracting attention, because their self-esteem is unconditional and does not depend on the opinions of others.
People with an inferiority complex may seem self-confident, but often this confidence is false. Possessing external attractiveness, their inner world is a bunch of fears and constant negative experiences.
How to get rid of an inferiority complex
1. Determine with whom you are comparing yourself
Instead of dwelling on the awareness of the presence of an inferiority complex in your life, take a step further and find out with whom you most often compare yourself.
Be as specific as possible and consider not only people from your environment but also celebrities and even imaginary images, such as a real man, a perfect woman or a London dandy.
If it is difficult for you to independently determine the object of comparison, use this list:
- Very physically attractive people.
- Rich people with a beautiful lifestyle.
- Smart people with several advanced degrees.
- People with impressive careers.
- Public people, or those who have many friends and fans.
As soon as you get a clear idea of the subjects that make you feel inferior, try to choose specific people in your life who have these attractive features that are important to you.
Then identify your strengths that are not equally present in your idols. There will be something!
2. Realize the nature of the inferiority complex
Remember the first case of the person whose behavior caused the inferiority complex. This is usually a case from childhood.
Feel this unpleasant emotion, become this emotion, dissolve in it. Think about the positive that this emotion carries. Why do you need it in your life? What did she protect you from all this time or what profit did you have?
Then give the materialized form of this emotion, say “Thank you,” and discard it mentally.
3. Stop worrying about other people’s opinions
Public opinion is the opinion of those who have not been asked about anything.
Indifferent attitude to the opinions of others is one of the most important steps towards getting rid of the inferiority complex. Not surprisingly, most of the complexes are based on other people’s judgments.
At the end of each day, only your own opinion of yourself should matter to you.
Studies have shown that when we treat ourselves better, other people also begin to treat us with great respect.
But how to stop worrying about the opinions of others?
First, focus on what makes you happy, what brings passion, joy, and satisfaction to your life?
When you spend time on what really turns you on, you stop spending your energy worrying about someone else’s opinion.
Secondly, do not forget that the people around you, as a rule, are too preoccupied with their own problems, and will not pay special attention to assess your person. They, as well as you, are worried about something and are not sure about anything.
When you become immune to the opinions and actions of other people, you cease to be a victim of completely unnecessary excitement and suffering, and you get a huge supply of personal freedom. It’s like drinking the most valuable medicine on earth. You are free!
4. Increase self-confidence
- Learn to love yourself
When you treat yourself as an object of love, you lay the foundation for subconscious beliefs that are themselves value and deserve close attention. Do you regularly play sports, eat well, get enough sleep, develop communication skills with girls, and pamper yourself with pleasant purchases? If not, work on these areas of life and you will see that a lot will change.
- Do what you love
Ask yourself what keeps you from doing what you love, and then decisively break all the existing obstacles.
- Develop yourself
When you are young, your head is often clogged with all sorts of nonsense, completely unnecessary trash, including the importance of public opinion. If you engage in self-development in various fields of human activity, instead of smoking and drinking beer in the company of dubious persons or crying into your pillow about your failure, after a while you will notice how much you have come off from others. It will just be an abyss. You will understand that those who once acted as idols, in fact, remained at the same level, the level of losers and burners for nothing.
- List of advantages
Make a list of ten qualities that you consider your strengths, and hang it in a prominent place to remember every day how wonderful you are.
5. Internal dialogue
Your inner voice has a huge impact on your attitude to yourself and your actions.
Being fixated on the negative, he begins to nourish the inferiority complex and a sense of self-denial. If you are possessed by positive psychological attitudes, an inner voice encourages your positive vision of yourself, helping to maintain a state of harmony and happiness in the long run.
Therefore, you need to identify your negative thoughts, and then replace them with positive beliefs.
Try to write down some of the disruptive statements of your inner critic, and then replace them with positive alternatives: “I am the best”, “It doesn’t matter what others think.”
Repeat these positive affirmations daily, ideally standing in front of the mirror, and in time you will be sure “Well, yes, I am the best. What’s wrong here? ”
In addition, replace all the negative words that you generously endow yourself with, even if you really correspond to their meaning, being, for example, awkward or overweight, because this is not a reason not to be kinder to yourself.
Come up with substitute words. You can tell yourself: “I have to practice to become graceful” or “What a fellow I am, that I go to the gym”.
Another effective way to stop negative internal dialogue is simply to stop believing in these stupid beliefs.
If you direct the focus of objective logical thinking to your negative mental attitudes, you will find that they are in fact not based on anything.
For example, if you think that you have less value because you do not have an attractive appearance, you probably simply did not realize the absence of some missing links in your life:
- The opinions of people are always subjective, and, for sure, many will not agree with you.
- You most likely have many other more valuable qualities.
- Well-chosen clothes, hairstyles, excellent physical shape and, in the case of girls, make-up can completely change both your idea of yourself and the attitude of others. No wonder Coco Chanel said that if a woman by the age of 30 did not become attractive, then she was a complete idiot.
In the same way, if you are not sure of the strength of your personality, your beliefs, habits, hobbies, etc., this is all because you constantly listen to the opinions of other people.
But in reality, there is no right or wrong way, and no one can objectively say that for some reason you are a second-class person.
What matters is only what you think about yourself, and what matters to you, and it does not matter what other people say or think.
Keep in mind that more than 95% of the people on planet Earth do not have absolute certainty. Therefore, when you start to worry about the attitude of others to your personality, just remember that they are also worried that others, including you, think about them.
If you find yourself an inferiority complex, then now is the time to think about why it could arise.
For example, if your parents were dismissive of you, then this is probably their problem, not your mistake. In the same way, if you were teased at school, there can be many reasons for this, you could even be banal envy.
You should not feel guilty, just because once upon a time in your life’s path met foolish people.
6. Surround yourself with positive people
It is important for you to recognize that the inferiority complex is associated with those people with whom you spend time.
Take an inventory of your environment: think about your relationships with family members, friends, colleagues.
If in your social circle you identify people who are actively trying to lead you astray, do not reciprocate your goodwill, bring chaos and unnecessary negative feelings into your life, the best solution to the problem is to distance yourself from them.
Exclude toxic people from your life completely.
To increase your self-esteem and develop a more positive attitude towards yourself, find friends who will sincerely support you. Build friendships based on mutual assistance, kindness and responsibility.
7. Friend’s help
Ask your friend (girlfriend) to list your best qualities. Surely you yourself know them, but it is very important and nice if someone else confirms them.
But even if you yourself are not aware of your strengths, a good friend will be able to find the highlight that you have been trying so hard to hide from everyone else for so long.
8. Little achievements
Focus on your accomplishments, no matter what their scale. Many successful people practice this approach all the time without stopping.
A trip to the gym, preparing healthy food, helping an old friend, a compliment made to a colleague, all these are significant daily achievements.
9. So what?
Someone may deflect or insult you. So what?
“So what?” – One of the greatest questions you can ask yourself.
All, without exception, great and successful people went through many trials and failures, but each time after the next fall, they got up and continued on their way. And what would happen if they lost faith in their strength?
Successful sellers in the field of direct sales, pick-ups, who are professionals in the field of seduction, were sewn hundreds or even thousands of times, and nothing bad happened to them. They are alive, healthy, and reaping the wonderful fruits of their perseverance.
A huge component of success is the development of the ability to do what other people are not capable of, usually because of their laziness and fears.
Therefore, as a result of doing unpopular things, you can easily throw your inferiority complex into the bin, and also stop taking life too seriously.
The universe is characterized by abundance and it wants to share with you everything you want. Living in fear, you block the flow of opportunity, creation, and magical change.
Instead, start using your energy to remind yourself that you are a citizen of the universe who deserves the very best.
10. Compassion for oneself
Compassion for oneself is the best form of self-help.
Have you made a mistake? Well, so what? Do not let your inferiority complex again enter the stage of your life
Think about what you learned and what you learned. Most mistakes and failures are of great benefit in teaching us something new.
There is no life without errors, so treat your mistakes as a valuable experience. Learn to use each life event to your advantage.
After making conclusions and realizing the experience gained, release the past event and focus on new achievements.
Anyway, where did you get the idea that everything should be perfect? Nothing characterizes the inferiority complex as vividly as an erroneous belief in the need to be perfect.
11. You create your own complexes
The real source of the inferiority complex is in your head, in your thoughts, and in reality, it does not depend on the opinions of other people. Awareness of this helps to get rid of it.
We so quickly turn to self-flagellation when we begin to consider ourselves worse than others. We represent them in the image of superhumans, living in the illusion that their life is beautiful and free from problems and personal troubles. They are beautiful and impeccable, they know everything and can.
The best way to get rid of such vicious beliefs is to understand what a cardboard idea of the surrounding reality is created by your thoughts. Your inferiority complex is generated by you and only you.
12. Appreciate what you have
I didn’t have shoes, and I felt sorry for myself until the moment I met a man without legs.
But what if samsara exists – the wheel of deaths and rebirths … What was your chance of being born a human? You could be born an insect and not bother with anything.
Go to the oncology department in the children’s hospital and see how much people appreciate the only opportunity to live to their fifteenth birthday.
Think about how many others would give for what you have, but that you absolutely do not appreciate.
You can always use your energy productively by focusing on what you have, rather than what others have. Such an approach puts the inferiority complex in its deserved place – out of your sight.
When you can’t fall asleep, stand in line, expect a bus at the bus stop to focus on those valuable things that are already present in your life.
Opening your eyes completely, you will see how much good surrounds you. You cannot feel gratitude and inferiority at the same time.
So, inferiority complex, catch a kiss and goodbye!
The inferiority complex is an old acquaintance for every person and does not represent something new and unusual. There will always be someone better than you, so the comparison is a completely useless activity. And besides, you are in some ways better than others, aren’t you?
Never let your sense of inferiority interfere with your success. Instead, use it as a tool to drive yourself to become better, rise to the next level, and get what you want.
The main approach to overcoming the inferiority complex is to recognize the true reason for its occurrence and to mentally work out this emotion, to be able to focus on your strengths, rebuild your internal dialogue and reduce the importance of someone else’s opinion to a level that does not exceed the height of the baseboard.
By letting go of the inferiority complex, you will gain freedom and confidence, and you will also be able to breathe a sigh of relief.
At the same time, do not forget that you can always turn to a competent specialist who will provide assistance taking into account each specific case for solving problems related to the functioning of the psyche.